Saturday, September 6, 2014

Jindal Films displays new white, lightweight Label-Lyte film for improved output of conformable, squeezable films at Labelexpo

Jindal Films will display its newwhite, lightweight Label-Lyte 52LLC247 oriented polyolefin (PO) film at booth 829, Labelexpo Americas, Rosemont, Illinois, September 9-11, 2014. Label-Lyte 52LLC247 extends its family of conformable films, including clear Label-Lyte 52LLC210, that offer excellent converting characteristics, conformability and flexibility for pressure sensitive label (PSL) applications. 

The conformability and squeezability of Label-Lyte 52LLC247 allows the label to remain intact and appear new even after multiple squeezes of the container. The printable surface enables point-of-sale impact to be enhanced for a wide range of products including health and beauty care, household products, beverages, canistered or bottled food. The conformability of Label-Lyte 52LLC247 allows high-quality tailored designs that reduce wrinkling and darting of the labels, even after the container is repeatedly squeezed. The film is compatible with multiple print technologies including metalized inks, hot stamp and cold foil decoration, and displays excellent white gloss for an enhanced look.

The film is engineered to improve overall output with consistent web handling, reduced curl and die cutting advantages. Excellent “lay flat” and high speed matrix stripping help optimize film speed, lower scrap rates and reduce reworking of labeled containers.

“This new white conformable film delivers consistent performance throughout the entire life cycle of the product,” said Kevin Frydryk, Sales Manager, Labels, Jindal Films Americas. “Brand owners can set apart their products and boost point-of-sale impact by choosing different shaped containers, knowing the label will maintain its attractive appearance and appeal through the full chain of use.”

The Jindal Films family of conformable films deliver high material yield that can reduce material consumption, while offering a multi-functional PSL label solution for a wide variety of prime label applications.

Jindal Films is a global technology leader in the development and manufacture of specialty OPP films, offering a broad range of flexible packaging and labeling solutions for customer innovation. The company is renowned for the global supply of high-quality, consistent products which include: Bicor, OPPalyte and Metallyte films for packaging applications, and Label-Lyte film for label applications.  

Cosmo Films to showcase its vast label portfolio at Labelexpo Americas

Cosmo Films (booth 917), one of the leading names in BOPP films will be displaying its extensive label portfolio at Labelexpo Americas again this year. It is going to display more than 30+ label films under self-adhesive, wrap around and in-mold labels at the expo. Product highlights include:

Universal Print Receptive label stock film
As the name suggests, the film’s coated surface has excellent adhesion with all kinds of ink. Be it water based, UV cured, solvent based, thermal transfer ribbon or any other ink. The film is suitable for all printing techniques and has high stiffness for all dispensing and die-cutting operations. This film is available in white opaque, cavitated, clear and metallized varieties in 57 & 61 microns.

Metallized film
The metallized label grade films are available with top coating on unmetallized as well as metallized side. These films are used in applications where aesthetic look is of prime importance. The film has excellent ink adhesion with water, UV & solvent based inks and is suitable for UV, flexo, off-set and rotogravure printing. This film is available in 46 & 51 microns varieties.

High Matte label film
This white opaque cavitated matte film provides paper like appearance to the self-adhesive labels and is specifically designed as non-reflective label substrate. Its top coated surface supports all ink types and is again suitable for most of printing methods including thermal transfer printing. This film is available in 76 & 100 microns and suitable for foil stamping as well.

Direct Thermal Printable (DTP) film
The DTP grade film is designed for direct thermal printing. This film used for price labelling in retail, industrial shipping & logistics applications, automatic labelling in food industry etc. offers good scuff resistance and excellent matte finish; with water proof variety being developed. This film is available in 50, 75, 84 & 100 microns.

HP Indigo Digital Printable film
A coated HPI (DP) grade film is specially designed to provide excellent printing results on HP indigo digital printing machine. Company has HP labels & packaging substrate certificate issued by RIT, USA. The film is available in 51 microns clear & 61 microns in white opaque varieties.

In mould label film
Company’s white opaque film used for in mould labeling comes in both plain and orange peel effect varieties. The film can be used for half tone printing. It has excellent printability with roto gravure & flexo graphic printing and has excellent adhesion with solvent based inks. The film has high planarity and behaves well with sheet cutting. It also has good anti blocking & anti-static performance. This film is available in 60, 65, 70 & 75 microns. The company also makes film for blow moulding technique.

Wrap around label film
The wrap around label film is available in clear, white opaque, cavitated & metallized variety in 35, 38, 47, 50 & 65 microns. Based on the thickness, this film is suitable for cut & stack as well as roll fed method. The film has excellent machinability and can run on high speed machines. Lower density varieties, for instance 0.55 are obviously high yielding in nature. The film is also available in high gloss varieties.

Colordyne Technologies to exhibit complete product line at Labelexpo Americas 2014: To unveil new 3600 Series Digital Label Printing Press at show

Colordyne Technologies (CDT), a leader in providing digital printing end-to-end solutions, will be at the Labelexpo Americas 2014 in Rosemont, Ill.at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Sept. 9 – 11, 2014. CDT will exhibit its high-quality digital printers and will also unveil its latest Production Class3600 Series Digital Label Printing Press.

Labelexpo Americas, the largest label and package printing tradeshow that caters to international markets, will be the stage for CDT to unveil its 3600 Series Digital Label Printing Press, powered by Memjet. The press provides the latest in proven closed loop tension control technology and is available with low cost inline finishing options and configurations. It also brings several benefits to the Production Class Digital Color Printing System including, but not limited to, enhanced print quality; increased resolution of 1600 x 1375 dpi; drastically reduced RIP times; speeds up to 225 ft/min (69 m/min); and a more user-friendly interface. CDT is focused on providing continued innovation, made possible through a modular printing platform that is designed to be upgraded as future product enhancements become available; providing a flexible and responsive long term investment in digital color printing.

“We are excited to attend Labelexpo Americas to demonstrate and display all of our top-of-the-line products,” said CDT President and CEO Gary Falconbridge. “The tradeshow is a great opportunity to showcase and demonstrate our new and innovative 3600 Series, meet suppliers, learn about new technology and network with customers, partners and potential clients in our industry.”

Show attendees can visit multiple booths to see displays and demonstrations of CDT’s products, including the new 3600 Series, and more:

Colordyne Technologies - Booth 6455
  • The 3600 Series Digital Label Printing Press will be the highlight of CDT’s booth running live demonstrations throughout the show.
  • The CDT 1600-C Continuous Digital Color Printer, an industrial class printer with the ability to print in continuous rolls and fanfold formats, will be demonstrated. The CDT 1600-C’s print resolution of 1600 x 1600 dpi and speeds of up to 12 in/sec (30.5 cm/sec) are perfect for printing carton labels with the ability to add color highlighting and pictograms. The CDT 1600-C starts at only $2,995 with the Color-Code Me program.
  • The CDT 1600-S Sheet Format Digital Color Printer will also be live printing in the booth. Visitors can see how the CDT 1600-S can be used to personalize and customize invoices, inserts, forms, coupons, envelopes and more to increase customer retention, brand recognition and cross-selling activities. 

Styers Equipment Company – Booth 200
The CDT 2600-PC Retrofit unit is an ideal digital print production solution for Label Converters looking to add full color digital inkjet printing to their existing flexographic press. The CDT 2600-PC Retrofit digital label and tag-printing platform offers an industry-leading combination of high print quality, fast job production and low equipment cost.

AzTECH Converting Systems – Booth 1511
A CDT Production Class unit will be demonstrated in the AzTECH Converting booth. Delivering at 1600 x 1200 dpi, the CDT 1600-PC Sprint is a high-speed roll-to-roll color digital printing system. The CDT 1600-PC Sprint performs continuous web printing on pressure-sensitive labels, narrow web packaging, retail tags, professional documents and pre-die cut labels at 160 ft/min (49 m/min).

Avery Dennison – Booths 119, 120 and MACtac – Booth 143
CDT Recognized Media Providers will be demonstrating how their inkjet receptive substrates perform on the CDT 1600-C Continuous Digital Color Printer. Both Avery Dennison and MACtac will be running live demonstrations in their respective booths.

Stop by CDT’s booth or a CDT Strategic Partner booth to learn how CDT’s printing solutions can benefit your business and operations. For additional information and the latest product updates, visit www.ColordyneTech.com.

Fujifilm's clarity water washable flexo plates reduce processing time by 75% at Universal Products, Inc.

Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division has recently installed Clarity Water Washable Flexo Plates at Universal Products, Inc., a Goddard, Kansas-based printer of labels and specialty graphics.

Since their founding in 1977, Universal Products has always been dedicated to quality and service, and remains committed to their customers. Universal Products answers the vinyl graphic needs of customers, representing every industry in the US.  Their 150,000 square foot facility supports nearly 300 employees.

Universal Products has a large presence in the marine market, and a vast majority of decorative graphics they print will appear on numerous brands of boats, including high-ticket wakeboard boats.  Additionally, their products are also found on the sides of construction and agriculture equipment, including tractor and combine housings.  Within the flexographic/roll label side of the business, they are printing food labeling, consumer product labeling within the power tool market, as well as many other consumer market labeling applications.

Universal was interested in reducing plate making time to improve their productivity, and Fujifilm’s new Clarity Water Wash Flexo Plates offered the highest flexo print quality, at the fastest production times; while significantly lowering cost-in-use compared to thermal, solvent or other water-wash technology.

“Clarity is 75% faster compared to our previous plate making system,” said Ron Cowhick, flexographic supervisor, Universal Products, Inc. “Clarity provides a much cleaner print.  The plates are more durable, not brittle.  This processor is user friendly, and we really like the way it works. If someone is still using the old plate-making method, I highly suggest they change,” added Cowhick.

“The primary reason that drove us to implementing a change in our current plate making equipment was that we were interested in reducing the time it takes to make plates.  We’ve realized in the past several months that with Clarity, we have greatly reduced the process time compared to what we were getting before,” said Phillip Weitzel, president, Universal Products, Inc. “We also wanted a better dot-architecture, due to the amount of process work we are doing, and the quality of the process work, and with Clarity we’ve benefited from this as well. It didn’t take us too long to see the advantages of Clarity, which allows us to be more competitive, allowing faster turn-time, this equates to more business for Universal Products.”

“The chemicals used to make the plates are environmentally friendly and responsible; the soap solution is safe, and it’s literally safe to dispose of down the drain, we’ve had it tested. We are no longer using solvents, it’s better for our employees, and we are seeing a tremendous savings in solvent disposal and recycle costs,” said Weitzel.

Clarity’s innovative water wash chemistry does far more than simply eliminate the need for solvents and wicking cloths - it delivers longer runs while producing a consistent 200lpi at 4400dpi, and a 1% process dot structure for print quality never before seen with flexo plates.

David Treadwell, production manager, Universal Products Inc., shared his thoughts on Clarity. “The print quality with Clarity is better than what we had previously, and the Clarity plates are running longer than what we had previously, and Clarity overall is a much better quality product,” said Treadwell. “Everyone in the shop loves this new system; we look forward to increasing our run speeds.”

Since solvents are not necessary to process Clarity plates, a strong solvent odor is noticeably absent from their facility, and allows for a more environmentally-friendly atmosphere.

Universal Products relationship with Fujifilm started on the screen side of the business, and their facility is now home to many products distributed by Fujifilm, including, screen mesh, all screen inks, emulsions, flexo ink and consumables including the Clarity plates and plate making materials.

“Fujifilm not only has the equipment, but they also have a full line-up of consumables to back it up,” summarized Weitzel.

Visit Fujifilm at Labelexpo, booth # 5621, to learn more about Clarity, and see how this technology, among others, will change how you print labels and packaging. Forever.

HP Opens Graphics Solutions Centre of Excellence and New Ink Plant in Singapore

HP has announced the opening of a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) and the expansion of an HP Indigo ink manufacturing facility in Singapore. The facility aims to educate and inspire printing companies and their customers - including brands, agencies and print buyers - in Asia Pacific and Japan about new opportunities made possible by HP digital printing solutions.

The new 226,000 square-foot facility will provide customers with one-stop access to HP’s broad digital printing portfolio and solutions, as well as a space to connect with experts and share creative and technical best practices.

The new facility will further support worldwide Indigo ink volume production by expanding local capabilities from the current ink series to the fast-growing new generation of inks for the HP Indigo 10000, 20000 and 30000 Digital Presses.

“Brand owners are facing increased competition as consumer choice and expectations have exploded. As a result, they’ve moved into the digital world to connect more powerfully with their customers,” said Gido van Praag, vice president, Graphics Solutions Business, HP Asia Pacific and Japan. “The new HP Centre of Excellence aims to give them the tools to compete, helping brands identify new ways to combine their unique skills with the industry’s broadest portfolio of innovative digital printing solutions, and its unparalleled application capabilities.”

HP Graphics Solutions Centre of Excellence Unlocks the Full Power of Digital Printing
The complete graphics portfolio and partner solutions along with an extensive gallery of applications – from stamps to building wraps - are housed in the new facility to make it easier for customers to unlock the full power of digital printing. Printing companies will be able to benchmark and conduct end-to-end application testing of their HP digital printing equipment. Brands and agencies will be able to see inspirational ideas and work on pilot projects in a real-world production environment. In addition, a training center will help increase operator proficiency and expedite return on investment of HP Indigo Digital Presses, HP Scitex Industrial Presses, HP Latex and HP Designjet Printers.

HP Ink Manufacturing Facility to Answer Fast Growth of New Generation HP Indigo Digital Presses
The increase in ink manufacturing capabilities supports the growing demand of Indigo next-generation presses, which are reaching 150 installations worldwide. These installations are in addition to more than 6,000 HP Indigo Presses now in 120 countries.

The 10,000 square meter expansion to the ink manufacturing plant will support global production of specialized HP Indigo ElectroInks for the new generation of HP Indigo 10000, 20000 and 30000 Digital Presses. The Indigo 10000, the first B2-format digital press with offset quality, enables print service providers, photo specialty shops and book printers to provide high value, high productivity applications. The Indigo 20000 and the Indigo 30000 Digital Presses, released to the market earlier this year, are the first digital presses designed to meet the needs of label & flexible packaging and folding carton converters.

To allow HP Indigo customers in the region to order and receive more than 3,000 specially mixed ink colors within short lead times, the plant will also manufacture Pantone-licensed spot color inks.

Substrate testing and certification capabilities will be built into the plant to enable substrate manufacturers, suppliers and HP Indigo press owners from Asia Pacific and Japan and Europe, the Middle East and Africa to evaluate substrate compatibility with HP Indigo Digital Presses. The new ink manufacturing facility is scheduled to open in 2015.

GFI Innovations to debut AccuBlend-LV Ink Dispensing System at Labelexpo Americas

GFI Innovations announced the new AccuBlend-LV Ink Dispensing System for low viscous flexo inks will be unveiled at the Labelexpo Americas show next week. Taking advantage of technology advancements and new software programs to develop AccuBlend, GFI (booth #547) will demonstrate the newest member of its dispensing line-up from September 9-11 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

The user-friendly AccuBlend-LV system offers a host of benefits to improve control over the process, schedules and workflow of ink dispensing. The robust, fully self-contained machine combines an attractive design and compact footprint to make the dispensing of spot ink colors simpler and more time effective.

With a proven two-stage dispense valve design, AccuBlend-LV features a dozen integrated 5-gallon vessels. Fully configurable so source containers such as drums can be added to satisfy demand, the AccuBlend-LV’s design makes refilling simple.  Since the design is fully modular, it can even be configured to accommodate 55-gallon drum batch sizes.

New COLORBOOK dispenser software with touch screen controls drives this machine. Nearly all dispenser and data management functions are contained on one screen, and navigation, the tracking of lot numbers, and batch color correction are functions made easier to maintain, especially when using work-off inks. 

“Much like our dispensing systems for offset litho printing, AccuBlend-LV is a very durable machine that is built to last a long time.  Operators are going to love working with it,” remarked John Borkovec, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for GFI Innovations.

“You can change the dispense sequence at the time of dispensing ink, and indicators on the printed batch ticket labels make it easy to see the dispense values, work-off inks and lot numbers. All of the inventory details can be found on one screen and creating returned inventory items is very easy to do.  It’s just about as intuitive as your cell phone because it is all icon driven.”

GFI will have equipment specialists in the booth at Labelexpo Americas performing demonstrations and will be available to provide more information about AccuBlend and other products.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Printware launches iJetColor Label press in addition to iJetColor press family powered by Memjet Technology

Printware, the leader in prepress and digital solutions, will launch the iJetColor Label Press at Labelexpo Americas 2014, taking placeSeptember 9- 11 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL and Graph Expo being held at Chicago’s McCormick Place, September 28-October 1. The iJetColor Label Press is a high performance, low total cost of ownership, inkjet digital color press powered by Memjet technology developed exclusively for label packaging applications. The iJetColor Label Press will be on display in the Anderson & Vreeland booth 929 at Label Expo and the Printware Booth 1949 at Graph Expo.

The iJetColor Label Press is a compact, table top, 4-color inkjet press suitable for supporting production label stocks for product packaging personalization, variable data barcoding, shelf labels, product labels for retail and industrial applications. The system features:
  • Roll-to-roll printing
  • Fan fold printing
  • Continuous label printing
  • Integrated cutter
  • 60 feet per minute speed
  • Gap mark sensing
  • Black mark sensing
  • Production quality Harlequin RIP Workflow
  • Advanced spot color matching application
  • Variable data-enabled workflow
  • Integrated touch-screen user control system 

“The iJetColor Label Press adds new capabilities to in-house manufacturing and packaging operations and to print shops of any size,” commented Tim Murphy, President of Printware. “The addition of a label press to the iJetColor family of products was based on customer requests for an easy-to-use system with color matching and variable data capabilities at a cost that provided significant economic advantages to bring label packing applications in-house – especially shorter run more complex color work that is highly profitable”

Memjet technology was designed to deliver speed by bringing the fastest inkjet technology of its kind to the market. Using a completely re-envisioned printhead design along with a custom controller chip and software, each component was engineered to deliver printing speeds unheard of in the inkjet world.

The iJetColor Label Press is offered exclusively with a comprehensive package that includes an easy to use workflow, expert color matching software built in for a wide variety of readily available inkjet stocks, variable data enabled tools, proven Harlequin RIP technology, professional installation, 24/7 support and a no-finger pointing quality guarantee.

“An iJetColor Press system brings new revenue opportunities to print shops, making it extremely affordable to produce 4-color label jobs and to also capitalize on new shorter run packaging opportunities. The iJetColor Press provides low cost, personalized printed images in print volume as low as one unit,” commented Murphy.

Printware was awarded a “Must See ‘Em” Best in Category during PRINT 13 and a “Game Changer” at Graphics of the Americas 2014 for its iJetColor Envelope Press and Workflow.

Asahi Photoproducts’ new pinning top dot digital flexo plate technology offers a leap in highlight quality for packaging

Asahi Photoproducts has launched a premium digital photopolymer flexo plate technology with a special pinning top dot, which enables a wide colour space, vibrant colour reproductions, soft tonal shades and improved productivity.

A feature of both Asahi’s solvent-washable TOP and water-washable AWP plates, the company’s Pinning Top Dot technology (PDT) enables a clean ink transfer and prevents ink accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas. This leads to fewer cleaning intervals and reduced downtime as well as significant quality improvements.

The Pinning Dot Technology allows a kiss-touch printing pressure setting. It makes use of low plate surface tension, made possible by a specially engineered Asahi polymer chemistry, to inhibit liquid flow. The ink forms a globule, with a large contact angle and high pinning point. This results in a cleaner and homogeneous ink transfer from plate to substrate.

Furthermore, the higher pinning point allows reduced printing pressure throughout the printing run, regardless of ink set used. This leads to lower dot gain, especially in the highlight areas, as well as smooth and soft vignettes fading out to zero with a wider total colour gamut. The lower pressure also allows longer plate life.

Dr. Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager, Asahi Photoproducts Europe, comments: “The arrival of the PTD plate range is ideal for applications such as high-end flexible packaging, where premium, pristine point-of-sale presentation is essential. It enables brand-owners and retailers to achieve the consistent, high standards normally associated with gravure and, at the same time, benefit from the relatively low ownership costs of the flexo process.” 

Suited for solvent, water and UV-based inks as well as high-quality film and coated paper substrates,  Asahi’s PTD plates offer a resolution of 80 l/cm (200 lpi), minimum isolated dot of 150 µm micron, and is available in thicknesses of 1.14mm (shore A hardness 77) and 1.70mm (shore A hardness 69).  It is compatible with all commonly available laser types, as well as the latest high-definition microcell screening technology.

The PTD family range comprises the solvent-washable TOP plate for the solvent washable process and water-washable AWP plate. Ideally suited for the repro-house, TOP offers easy integration in existing work flows without the need for additional machine investment cost.

The AWP plate combines time-saving and quality advantages demanded by the printer with in-house plate making. In addition to the advantages of the solvent plate, AWP offers access time to the press of just one hour. Also, because of the elimination of solvent and the subsequent drying process, the AWP plate features excellent register performance and is easier to register on press. The plate is especially beneficial in situations where last-minute job changes are commonplace and fast makeready times are essential.

Mark Andy Print Products announces addition of Digiflex to pressroom supplies offering

Mark Andy Print Products, the supplies and consumables division of Mark Andy Inc., is pleased to announce the addition of DigiFlex to their platemaking equipment offering. Mark Andy Print Products specializes in the distribution of value-added platemaking equipment and a variety of pressroom supplies, specifically in support of optimizing and advancing the flexo workflow.

The DigiFlex FlexoJet system is a revolutionary inkjet-based computer-to-plate (CTP) solution for photopolymer flexographic, letterpress, dry-offset, and rotary silk screen printing technologies. This unique system allows high quality, affordable analog plate materials to be imaged digitally – producing superior results with very low acquisition and ongoing costs. Mark Andy Print Products will market and distribute the DigiFlex flexographic CTP system via direct and inside sales organizations, concentrating on label and package printers and converters throughout North America. The efficiency of this equipment is an attractive solution for small format label and package printing companies to bring platemaking in-house.

DuPont Cyrel, which is the leading plate material brand also carried by Mark Andy Print Products, has tested and validated the DigiFlex CTP system and have found it to be fully compatible with Cyrel solvent and Cyrel FAST plates. Joe Calmese, Director of Flexo Consumables for Mark Andy Print Products commented, “Having the ability to offer DigiFlex and DuPont Cyrel plates together is a unique and exclusive offering which allows us to provide a total solution to converters in their platemaking efforts. Mark Andy Print Products strives to provide unique products that truly optimize a converters’ operation. This combination will enable many of our customers to manage their own digital platemaking in-house improving their overall efficiency.”

Kevin Cazabon, DigiFlex Director of Sales for North America commented, “We are proud to be associated with the premiere brand that is Mark Andy, and that they will be offering our solution to their extensive customer base. When combined with the DuPont line of high-quality solvent and thermally-processed flexographic plates, together we provide a unique value and return-on-investment for the narrow-web market.”

To keep converters profitable and efficient, Mark Andy Print Products is a complete resource for all supplies, consumables and equipment to support the pressroom. The group maintains an extensive inventory and supplier network offering a full line of flexo and offset supplies. The Mark Andy Print Products mission is to offer specific value-added solutions - providing the tools to truly optimize a printing operation.

DigiFlex is a high-tech startup company located in Israel, the printing industry's technology valley. The company was founded in 2008 by scientists and technologists with excellent printing industry track records. DigiFlex is operating globally with distribution channels in Europe, North America and the Far East. The DigiFlex FlexoJet 1725 is a revolutionary inkjet-based CtP solution for photopolymer flexographic, letterpress, dry-offset, and silk screen printing technologies. This unique system allows high quality, affordable analog plate materials to be imaged digitally; producing superior results with very low initial and ongoing costs. Visit www.digiflex-print.com.

Toyo Ink America rolls out new product lineup at Labelexpo Americas

Toyo Ink America, LLC announced that it will be presenting a new lineup of printing ink and dispenser systems at the 2014 Labelexpo Americas. This is an exciting event for Toyo Ink America as the company will be rolling out an expanded array of products and solutions, including UV ink products from Belgium-based Arets Graphics NV, a Toyo Ink Group company.

Labelexpo Americas is the largest show in North, South and Central America for the label, product decorating, web printing and converting industry. The exhibition will run from September 9 to 11, at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Toyo Ink America will be located in booth 3009 and urges all customers and interested parties to come and learn more about the products and services offered by Toyo Ink America.

High Strength Inks for Label and Flexible Packaging Applications
Labelpro: Formulated from the latest resin and pigment technology available, Labelpro is an ultra clean, water-based printing ink system, which offers high strength and low viscosities. Labelpro process inks are highly resoluble and offer the lowest dot gain in the industry. Labelpro works on a variety of substrates for various end uses.

Steraflex: A high strength, fast curing UV flexo ink system ideally suited for label and flexible packaging markets. Steraflex, where European technology meets Japanese innovation, brings innovation and versatility to the marketplace.

PowerFlex SS: Toyo Ink America’s answer to the shrink sleeve market. This system offers fast curing, high strength and superior shrink properties for the printer. Works on a variety of shrink applications and substrates.

Innovative Ink Dispenser for UV Flexo Printing
Developed in Japan, Toyo Ink’s latest ink dispenser system is capable of producing spot inks ranging from 100g to 4kg in a single operation. Ink quantity can be produced according to customers’ specific needs, from prototyping to small-lot production.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fujifilm is out to change minds about printing labels and packaging at LabelExpo

Featuring Graphium, a UV Inkjet Press, and Clarity Water Washable Flexo Plates, North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division is gearing-up for Labelexpo 2014, and will demonstrate these label printing innovations within their “What’s Changing” themed booth.  

Graphium, a versatile UV digital inkjet press, is specifically designed for labels, packaging, and specialty print; its unique design provides the ultimate versatility and functionality while incorporating inkjet, flexographic printing, and finishing, all in one.

At Fujifilm booth # 5621 attendees will experience the Graphium digital press with inline flexo print a variety of ‘fit to purpose’ label applications. Each day at the show, Fujifilm will demonstrate hourly how this hybrid system can print digital CMYK, under white, over white, flexo spot colors and varnish by adding up to six flexo stations. The daily demonstrations will also feature high quality Clarity Water Washable Flexo Plates, along with the bright, vibrant color of Fujifilm UV Flexo and Waterbase Flexo inks. 

“The direction that packaging is taking in terms of customization and shorter runs requires a solution that incorporates printing and finishing inline,” said Terry Amerine, business development manager - Specialty Media & Equipment, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division. “Graphium addresses this need, and will enable Fujifilm to change minds about how the printing for labels and packaging is done.”

The Graphium hybrid UV inkjet press on the show floor will be running the new Clarity Water Washable Flexo Plates. Capable of printing up to 200 lpi with a true flat top dot, and with a processing time of just 30 minutes, Clarity  is three times faster than solvent systems, one and half time faster than thermal, and 25% faster than competitive water wash plates.

“Clarity flexo plates are an industry changing technology, advancing image quality while eliminating solvents and thermal processing,” said Jon Fultz, business development manager –Packaging, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division. “Adding flexo plates and offering platesetters through our new agreement with Esko, along with our industry leading flexo inks and also the Graphium hybrid inkjet press, this truly demonstrates our commitment to be the leading supplier in the packaging industry.”

Graphium is driven by Fujifilm XMF Workflow. XMF is an end-to-end workflow system based on JDF specifications and Adobe APPE technology. With tighter integration, XMF and Graphium work together to produce jobs quicker and easier. XMF’s productivity has an advanced approval tool to help accelerate the proofing process, and it also supports a hybrid workflow to control both offset and digital printing.

“We will demonstrate software solutions that meet customer needs for everything from design to proof, and RIP and print," said Jason Kammes, business development manager - Workflow and Xerox product solutions, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division.

Fujifilm is out to change how you print labels and packaging. Forever.

Indian origin Arun V. Someshwar receives TAPPI 2014 Environmental Technical Award

This year’s recipient of the Environmental Technical Award and Roy F. Weston prize is Arun V. Someshwar. In addition to an engraved plaque, lapel pin, and complimentary hotel accommodations to the PEERS Conference, Arun will also receive $1000. The award will be presented at the opening session of the conference on Sept. 15 in Tacoma, Wash.

Arun obtained a B. Tech. in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India in 1976, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University in 1982.

Arun has been working with the National Council for Air & Stream Improvement (NCASI) at their Newberry (Gainesville), FL office since 1989 and is currently an NCASI Fellow. Prior to joining the council, Arun served as an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH.

Over the past two decades at NCASI, Arun has conducted and supervised several studies pertinent to the Forest. Products Industry (FPI) covering a wide range of topics such as characterization of NOx, SO2 and other criteria pollutants from pulping, recovery and combustion sources in the FPI, characterization of a wide range of “air toxics,” including their formation and emission from various combustion/non-combustion FPI sources, and characterization of criteria/non-criteria pollutant formation and emission from alternative fuels utilized in the FPI.

Arun is also responsible for maintaining the NCASI air emissions databases for air toxics and criteria pollutants, and the dissemination of critical information on issues related to SARA 313, NPRI, and CDR (chemical data rule) reporting.

Labelexpo chosen for North American release of Xitron workflow

Xitron, the leading independent developer of RIP and workflow products for the printing industry, is introducing Navigator F/P at Labelexpo Americas in Rosemont, Illinois. Continuing the Xitron standard of prepress independence, Navigator F/P is a prepress workflow and tool kit designed specifically for label and flexographic applications. Compatible with virtually every output device used in flexographic and digital label production, Navigator even drives the newest generation of high-speed ink jet and toner based systems.

“This is a watershed moment for small-to-medium sized label companies looking to improve their prepress capabilities, or even bring them in-house for the first time,” said Eric Nelsen, Vice President of Product Development for Xitron. “Navigator F/P was designed to be as simple and intuitive as possible with no proprietary restrictions on output. So whether the choice is film, direct-to-plate, or high speed digital, Navigator directs the process accordingly.”

Navigator F/P combines the stability of the Harlequin RIP, the performance of the Navigator workflow, and the power of an Adobe Illustrator plug-in to create film- or plate-ready artwork in logical, efficient steps. The Illustrator plug-in provides tools familiar to the operator while the intuitive workflow GUI offers start-to-finish control over each job from any workstation.

Xitron will be demonstrating Navigator F/P and the Variegator variable data option in booth 3823 during the exhibition September 9th through the 11th at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center near Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Navigator will also be showcased in the Anderson & Vreeland booth (929), as well as IPT Digital (5611) and Super Web Digital (1649), where it is the RIP of choice for their high-speed inkjet presses.

Navigator’s acceptance across such a wide range of systems and applications speaks volumes about its versatility,” added Nelsen. “Coupled with its low cost of ownership and seamless integration, Navigator is poised to play a significant, contributory role in the ongoing transformation of label printing.”

Century Label makes a splash with dissolvable stickers and the HP Indigo WS6600 digital press

Based in Bowling Green, Ohio, Century Label provides high-quality label and shrink sleeves for manufacturers and distributors of nutraceuticals, foods and chemicals. Replacing its HP Indigo ws4500 Digital Presses, Century Label installed two HP Indigo WS6000 series Digital Presses, increasing print capacity and quality as well as expanding the range of jobs and customers it can serve. When the company was contacted by a leading maker of greeting cards with a project featuring well-known cartoon characters, Century Label turned to the advanced color-matching capabilities of its new HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Press.

Charged with printing 12,000 water-soluble stickers of 26 different character designs, Century Label developed dissolvable stickers using its SmartSolve label stock. However, color-matching the licensed artwork colors of the beloved children’s characters presented another challenge entirely - and an opportunity for the company to show off its new color-matching technology.

Using the HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Press’s extended color gamut, particularly the violet ink, Century Label hit even the most difficult colors spot on. Additionally, the wider web of the HP Indigo WS6600 allowed for more stickers per frame, enabling the company to produce the project faster and with less waste.

“Digital printing has been a high-growth area for us. We love what digital has done for our business,” said Seth Hill, director of manufacturing and distribution, Century Label. “In general, our focus has changed and we are going after larger jobs now. This speaks a lot to our enhanced color management capabilities with the HP Indigo WS6600 and WS6000. We have put a lot of effort into driving our color management and that is giving us business growth.”

Since installing the two HP Indigo WS6000 series Digital Presses, Century Label’s business has continued to grow and flourish, doubling its digital output and printing larger run lengths not possible with previous devices.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ThermoFlexX to show groundbreaking flexo imager technology at Labelexpo Americas 2014

ThermoFlexX will demonstrate its industry leading flexo imager technology at Labelexpo Americas 2014 with a ThermoFlexX 30 model. With a plate size of 635 x 762 mm, the ThermoFlexX 30 is an ideal imager for the label market. A recent string of partnership agreements, technical breakthroughs and distributor announcements means that ThermoFlexX is well positioned to provide a complete prepress solution for the flexo market.

“ThermoFlexX offers the widest range of resolutions available on a flexo imager,” says Rick Mix, Channel Manager – North America for ThermoFlexX. “The ThermoFlexX 30 comes as standard with resolutions of 2,400 dpi and 2,540 dpi, with the option to output at 4,000 dpi, 4,800 dpi or even 5,080 dpi. This enables the reproduction of extremely fine quality print with excellent detail. By selecting the most suitable resolution, ThermoFlexX users can tailor their plate output precisely to the work being produced.”

There are six imagers within the ThermoFlexX series, ranging from the 508 x 420 mm ThermoFlexX 18, which is aimed at tag and label applications, to the recently launched 1,270 x 2,032 mm ThermoFlexX 80 for flexible/corrugated packaging and folding carton applications.

With 20 years experience in developing CTP technology, ThermoFlexX has incorporated many material and labour saving mechanisms into its imagers. Its unique vacuum slider feature allows the operator to cut off the vacuum to areas of the drum that are not mounted, simply by moving a slider to the edge of the plate. By eliminating the need to apply special tape or cutting plates to the unused part of the drum, customers are able to easily fit and expose plate off-cuts that would otherwise be thrown away.

Furthermore, ThermoFlexX has designed a hybrid drum that enables plates to be held by either vacuum or magnetic pins, which are an integral part of the drum. Irrespective of the version of drum used, the advanced clamping system ensures ergonomic and easy plate mounting.

ThermoFlexX imagers accept 1-bit TIFF files from any workflow or front-end. This makes integration into existing workflows straightforward. The screened 1-bit TIFF file can be a single job file, which can be assembled on a template, or it can be an already assembled 1-bit TIFF plate.

“Our technological developments during the last year have enabled flexographic printers and trade houses to handle their prepress needs with a degree of quality, versatility and output that is unrivalled,” says Mr Mix. “We’re expecting a significant amount of interest in our latest imagers at Labelexpo Americas and look forward to welcoming visitors to our stand.”

Color-Logic Certifies Xeikon Technology

Color-Logic-developer of the Process Metallic Color System--has certified the Xeikon X-800 Digital Front End for use with Color-Logic files.  Announcing the certification, Color-Logic Director of Sales and Marketing Mark Geeves commented:  "Color-Logic technicians have tested the Xeikon X-800 Version 3.5 DFE on the Xeikon 3000 Series presses for compatibility with Color-logic files.  Xeikon users can be assured that Xeikon printers with this configuration will accurately process Color-Logic files and produce striking images on metallic foils and similar substrates, and eliminate having to create white ink masks, and take advantage of variable text in metallic.  Xeikon presses, together with the Color-Logic process, provide printers with 250 new metallic colors and a virtually unlimited combination of decorative effects.  As brands require many more SKUs to address worldwide markets, the Xeikon digital printing solution enables them to stand out from their competition on the shelf."

Developed for brand managers, product managers, corporations and advertising agencies, the Process Metallic Color System gives licensees the ability to differentiate themselves and their clients from the competition by simplifying the design and print production process and implementing eye-catching decorative effects into their branded products and associated collateral. The Color-Logic system is compatible with offset, inkjet, flexography, digital presses, screen printing, and gravure processes. It is ideal for packaging, pouches, direct mail, point-of-purchase material, signage, post cards, literature, booklets, labels, shrink sleeves, calendars and much more.

Samples showing the Color-Logic technology produced on Xeikon presses will be available on the Xeikon stand at Labelexpo Americas 2014 in Chicago. Xeikon designs, develops and delivers web-fed digital color presses for labels and packaging applications. 

Color-Logic develops color communication systems and software tool sets for a variety of special effect printing applications. Color-Logic provides brand owners, product managers, corporations, and their advertising agencies the ability to differentiate themselves and their clients with a simple print production process that yields dramatic results. Color-Logic decorative effects utilize the existing workflows of printers and designers, yielding dynamic results without the use of special equipment. Color-Logic supports the value of print and works with designers and printers to enhance their printed media.

MPS introduces UV flexo press to North and Latin American converters with choice of plate rolls or print sleeves

MPS announced the introduction of its flagship EF flexo printing press that features a choice of either plate rolls or print sleeves to North and Latin American printers. The technology will be presented at Labelexpo Americas, where local MPS organizations MPS America and MPS Latin America are joining forces in booth 1321.

According to Denny McGee, president of MPS America LLC, the EF press is an extremely high-quality production press that features both UV and hot-air drying technology, allowing users to print diverse substrates including film, paper, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging.

McGee says the EF press is unique to the North and Latin American market, and is the result of MPS listening to the needs of customers. “Our goal at MPS is to help printers excel. We listen closely to their needs and challenges, and develop solutions that specifically address them, that is for example why we made the EF available for both plate rolls or print sleeves at moment of order” he said.

The EF press is particularly geared at enabling press operators to maximize their performance. “The key for success in today’s label and packaging industry is the press operator,” said McGee. “His or her skills, experience and motivation determine more than anything else the productivity and printing quality and, ultimately, the return on investment. It’s all about people. However, finding and keeping these operators is one of the biggest challenges printers face. While we can’t help them find those people, we can develop printing presses that enable printers to get the most out of their press operators.

Esko offers complete, updated preproduction toolset at Labelexpo 2014

At booth 5202, Esko will be displaying its complete preproduction solutions for label production at Labelexpo Americas, held from September 9-11 in Rosemont, IL. Highlights include the first official North American viewing of Suite 14, along with Equinox and Full HD Flexo, technologies that have recently received industry-wide acclaim.

“At Labelexpo Americas 2014, Esko will be able to show label manufacturers a complete preproduction workflow, from file to plate,” explains Rory Marsoun, Esko VP, Flexo Business Development. “This includes a wide range of applications, from exceptional expanded gamut software to 3D design tools, to outstanding flexo plate imaging to collaborative workflows that can ultimately drive any press, including flexo, offset and digital.”

Suite 14: The most complete collection of preproduction software tools for labels and packaging
A major emphasis of the booth will be Suite 14, an update of the world’s most complete collection of preproduction software tools for packaging and sign & display production. It supports and manages the packaging and print processes at brand owners, retailers, designers, packaging manufacturers and print service providers. Suite 14 focuses on five key directions supporting the future of packaging workflows:

Superior quality: The prepress operator’s focus shifts entirely to quality checking: once to obtain customer design approval and again just before the press starts. Interactive tools dedicated to check quality simplify the task.

Task driven interactive editing: Quality checking, exception handling and building smart templates are the prepress operator’s main tasks. New cross platform software apps provide a task-driven user experience. Intelligent wizards guide the operator through expert processes.

Improved workflow automation: Smart workflow tickets route designs automatically to a press-ready printing plate. Workflow automation stretches beyond printing and finishing and integrates with logistics. Operator interaction is limited to exception handling and quality checking. Open industry standards enable integration with business systems and data silos, regardless of location. Cloud based packaging management systems interface with prepress workflow servers openly and transparently.

Smart templates: The basis for a lights-out workflow, smart design templates separate content from creation: the designer determines the looks of the pack “by example” and within a brand guidelines framework. Critical content resides securely in the cloud-based packaging management system of the brand owner. No more ‘copy and paste’ in Adobe Illustrator but linking smart objects to secure and approved content in a database. This guarantees brand consistency and legal compliance at maximum productivity and shortest time to market.

Online supply chain integration: Smart templates and workflow tickets connect prepress to all stakeholders. Operations run virtually anywhere in the world. Integrated packaging-savvy production and asset management systems dramatically improve time to market and reduced cost.

Equinox: Printing more efficiently with expanded gamut
Equinox Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) Technology - a 2014 FTA Technical Innovation Award and PIA InterTech Technology Award recipient -is Esko’s patented technology for converting packaging graphics from CMYK and spot color to seven-color process. Converting entire files results in extremely close matches to spot colors, improved pictorial images, and the ability to print more colors than available ink stations on the press, resulting in improved image quality and brand impact. The major benefit, however, is realized in the pressroom as jobs print more economically and consistently. The ability to create an infinite number of colors from seven process colors promotes “gang” press runs – and the economic savings can surpass a million dollars per press per year. Customers using Equinox ECG technology report that they use 7-color process profitably in a production environment for labels as well as flexible packaging. This has enabled many of the world’s largest consumer product companies to convert entire product lines to expanded gamut.

Full HD Flexo for Labels
Esko will be showing examples of Full HD Flexo for Labels. Full HD Flexo is the recipient of a 2014 PIA InterTech Technology award. Full HD Flexo for Labels features adapted screening and standard operating procedures for the label and tag industry, and delivers very high quality with impactful solids, smoother highlights and expanded color gamut. Full HD Flexo for Labels delivers enhanced print stability as well as a reduction of gear marks when using gear-driven presses.

At the Esko booth, will be exhibiting an Esko CDI Spark 4835 flexo plate imager - the most popular flexo plate imager in the industry - with inline UV and Full HD Flexo. Visitors can learn about HD Flexo and Full HD Flexo through real-life production samples that demonstrate the quality and extended color gamut made possible by incorporation of Esko solutions.

Along with Full HD Flexo will be Esko Digital Flexo Suite, offering significant cost savings through the automation of the flexo plate production. The flexo plate is cut into smaller patches to reduce waste. Automatically, instantly and accurately, as a job is sent to the imager, files are created for cutting and data files are made for mounting. The Digital Flexo Suite will be demonstrated with The Kongsberg XN, easily the most versatile digital finishing device ever introduced. It is available in seven different sizes from 66” x 50” to 87” x 258”. The Kongsberg XN comes with a wide range of specialty tools. These tools offer speed, power and flexibility to automatically handle a wide variety of packaging and plate materials, including flexo plates and coating blankets.

Esko on the floor with other partners
On Esko’s booth will be CHILI Publish, featuring its professional online document editor. CHILI Publish will also be sponsoring a breakfast on September 10 at the Hyatt Rosemont. Esko is one of the scheduled presenters. Esko partners DuPont and Agfa will be sharing booth 5403 and exhibiting an Esko CDI 2530 plate imager - a perfect size for smaller, narrow web presses that produce labels.

Labelexpo will also see the unveiling of a new proofing solution, utilizing an Esko front-end system featuring FlexProof and an HP Designjet printer, at HP booths 3226 and 3429. HP customers can benefit from simple, accurate color management via Esko Color Engine, which is integrated into both FlexProof and HP Indigo presses. The wizard-based user interface of Color Engine makes it easy to set up an accurate color match on both the press and proofer, without the need to involve color experts to maintain the system.

Esko participation in educational programs
As always, Esko will be involved in educational programs during Labelexpo. The Inkjet Trail is a program where digital press manufacturers will be challenged by receiving identical source files for food, personal care and industrial labels, with the requirement of using identical substrates to produce them. During scheduled booth visits each day, the inkjet press manufacturers will show printed results for comparison. Esko has been asked to prepare the files from its Suite 14 workflow, showing the work they did on these files for the “Trail”, each day, from 1:00-1:20pm.

Digital printing technology and techniques have expanded the possibilities for label and package creation. Eye-catching designs and value-adding materials are now cost-effective and vastly increase the potential for customer engagement and brand development.‘Brand engagement through packaging’: a printing technology master class at Labelexpo Americas 2014 is a series of presentations that will help educate attendees about label and package printing. On Thursday, from 10:45-11:05am, Jan De Roeck, Esko Director, Solutions Management, will present ‘Exploring digital visualization to workflow’. During the session he will discuss reinventing the artwork creation process and making it possible with 3D Visualizer software; virtually creating packaging to show a range of substrates, printing techniques and finishes; providing visibility to concept teams in remote locations; and improving approval time.

“Esko looks forward to educating attendees about how they can create high-quality labels while maintaining cost-effective workflows,” concludes Steve Bennett, Esko VP Sales, North America Central. “Whether on our booth, partner booths, or during seminars, Esko hopes to be a helpful presence.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Getting the Inside Track on Inkjet at The Inkjet Conference

Fast-paced developments in inkjet printing technology will open traditional industrial applications to digital printing such as packaging, textile, plastics and many more. ‘The Inkjet Conference’ is staged by ESMA, a leading, European non-profit association for specialist printing manufacturers of screen and digital print technology, at the Swissôtel in Neuss (Düsseldorf), Germany, September 30 and October 1 2014.

Steve Knight, Founder of “Digital Direct” comments: “Inkjet is the fastest growing area of print. The rapid evolution of core technologies is driving cross market adoption of digital imaging with huge economic benefits, and while some market sectors are still in the 10’s of machines, others are in the 1000’s. Digital print in automotive interior is to be expected next year and so is direct printing on beverages and secondary packaging. Furthermore, labels, ceramics, textiles and packaging are all fast-growing sectors and represent a multi-billion euro business that is expanding rapidly.”

Peter Buttiens, CEO of ESMA comments: “Technical advances in inks, printheads software and electronics are being aided by a growing integration know-how. In turn, improvements in image quality are being driven by further research in inks and surface treatments, curing and drying. As a result, this improved image quality is driving further market adoption.”

The inkjet conference brings together industry and academic leaders in their fields to speak about the latest advances and future developments driving digital print and offers a great networking opportunity to meet both the presenters and the market leaders from their respective industries. The biggest European Conference of its kind for this industry sector will feature exhibitors and speakers from: Adphos, Agfa, Balluff, Caldera, Chemstream, Colorgate, Fujifilm Dimatix, Digital Direct, Encres Dubuit, GEW, GIS, Huntsman, Industrial Inkjet, Integration, Technology KNF, Machine Dubuit, Marabu, Malvin, Pall, Phoseon, PrintabLED, Ricoh, Sun Chemical, Trident, Wifag, Xaar plc,
Xennia, Indujet.

The two-day, multi-subject educational conference, sponsored by enabling partner drupa, has been developed specifically for inkjet equipment manufacturers. It will comprise of:
  • A focus on inkjet engineering and the placing of a million drops that will feature hardware and software aspects of equipment design and manufacture. Areas touched on will include fluid systems, precision engineering, printheads, digital asset management, RIPs, colour calibration and workflow.
  • A review on fluid and ink components such as nano particles, conductive, aqueous and UV inks.
  • An academic track open to all universities and non-commercial research institutes to present their work.

Sabine Geldermann, Director of drupa: “The conference supports precisely our “Touch the Future” focus, theme and claim of drupa 2016. It is responding to the rapid market changes and is stimulating new and important visitor target groups with state-of-the-art technologies and new solutions.”
Martin Stegelmeier, Senior Project Manager for PEPSO (Printed Electronics Products and Solutions) of Messe Düsseldorf, points out that “PEPSO connects seamlessness with inkjet technology. Many new materials and application developments are connecting with this upcoming conference and are a springboard towards drupa 2016!”

The conference will consist of over 30 presentations with topics as varied as:
  • Membrane Pumps in Inkjet Printers - a success story, Andreas Hauri (KNF Flodos)
  • UV-LED Systems and Integration, Patrick Montali (PrintabLED)
  • Piezo Inkjet for Precision Dispensing of Functional Materials, Steve Liker (Trident)
  • System Integration: an Ink Point of View , Frank De Voeght (Chemstream)
  • Improving Inkjet Industry by Implementing Intelligent Sensors, Martin Kurtz (Balluff GmbH)
  • Industrial Inkjet for Packaging- Beyond the Box, Holly Steedman (Indujet GmbH)
  • Limitations and Benefits of Industrial Inkjet Printing, John Corrall (Industrial Inkjet Limited)
  • Utilizing the Full Power of the Computer Hardware, Frédéric Soulier (Caldera)

The academic track will also display the latest in inkjet technology:
  • Advanced Drop Watching (iPrint Institute, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)
  • Carbon Nano-Forms Suspensions for Inkjet Printing Energy Applications (Department of Chemistry, University of Torino)
  • Silver micro size distribution and printing technique influences on coatings for flexible electronics
  • Inkjet printing of functional materials for energy applications
  • Inkjet printing and sintering techniques of functional layers for electronic applications

See further details on www.theijc.com

Esko Full HD Flexo shines in practical use for label production

When making an investment, it's important to go for the latest state-of-the-art technology. This was the primary reason Polish label printer Etiko decided to invest in Esko Full HD Flexo for Labels, as well as the CDI plate imaging technology. Etiko specializes in self-adhesive labels on rolls and was one of the first companies in Poland to work with Esko’s advanced screening process and the associated standardized procedures required for the highest quality label printing. The company’s objective was to gain competitive advantage with the ability to achieve high solid ink density, greater stability in the highlights and a wider color gamut.

"Our investment in Esko Full HD Flexo for Labels underlines our commitment to produce the highest possible print quality for our customers. And that is exactly what the market is demanding these days," comments Tadeusz Kozinski, Managing Director at Etiko. "After just a few weeks of working with Full HD Flexo, we already noticed the variety of benefits this technology offers: it allows to achieve a higher level of quality in plate imaging, enabling us to get significantly better printing results. We are also very pleased with our partnership with Esko. They have been supporting us every step of the way, and we see them as true partners in our business success."

Before installing Esko Full HD Flexo, Etiko was using analogue imaging technologies. One thing was clear to Mr. Kozinski right from the start: when it came to investing in new plate production technology, it had to be the latest, state-of-the-art solution. "In our opinion, Esko is an undisputed market leader in the field of flexo printing prepress. This and Esko's advanced solutions give customers like us the necessary assurance of not backing the wrong horse," adds Kozinski. For him it's clear that digital technologies change extremely quickly, and it's critical to implement the latest solutions in order to meet the evolving needs of customers and stay ahead of the competition to gain new customers.

Quality advancement and flexible plate selection
With its fine highlights, transitions to zero, sharp text and brilliant image details, Esko Full HD Flexo has quickly set new standards at Etiko. The key benefits include gravure-like ink laydown and a fully digitally controlled platemaking workflow. The unique dot shape produced by Esko Full HD Flexo generates plates that can be used for the highlight, shadow and solid ink areas of print jobs.

"Agencies and marketing departments are increasingly demanding photorealistic color reproduction of images or other special effects, even for labels,” explains Kozinski. “Transitions to zero are now possible, allowing us to meet these requirements. Without Esko Full HD Flexo, we would not be able to do so." Another important decision-making criterion for Etiko was the ability to freely choose plate material. Since Esko Full HD Flexo supports all major digital flexo plate and sleeve brands, it is no longer a necessity to work with solutions from a specific manufacturer.

Just like many countries in Europe, also the Polish label printing market is price sensitive. But with the investment in Esko's Full HD Flexo technology – partly supported by an EU funding, Etiko is confident to easily achieve full return on investment. “We anticipate an increasingly growing demand from our customers for higher print quality and shorter turnaround times,” Kozinski adds. "We are convinced that this will be a key differentiator for us. According to data from the FINAT association, the label market in Poland is only half the size of that in Germany, yet there is significant opportunity for companies that use game-changing technologies. We have taken an enormous step forward with the innovative Esko technology and see ourselves very well positioned to be successful in a competitive market."

Multi-Action Labels expands into short-run, just-in-time printing and prototyping with SPGPrints’ DSI UV-inkjet press

Multi-Action Labels, a self-adhesive label laminator and converter based in Quebec City, Canada, has significantly expanded its short-run printing operation after installing SPGPrints’ DSI UV-inkjet label printing press, enabling customers to benefit from premium quality, shorter lead times and lower supply chain costs as a result. 

Operational since 2012, the 330mm (13”) wide, eight-colour DSI press at Multi-Action is a complete print-converting line for single-pass production and complements three existing ETI flexo lines.

Jonathan Bourbonnière, president of Multi-Action Labels, comments: “The quality achieved by the DSI press and SPGPrints’ inks has been amazing, and has enabled us to deliver high-impact designs that have enhanced our customers’ brands and boosted their sales. A major tomato grower in Quebec has even declared the printwork achieved by the press as the quality standard for all its labels.  Equally importantly, the press delivers identical quality to flexo, giving us the flexibility to switch all analogue jobs shorter than 10,000ft [3048m] to the digital process.”

With run lengths averaging nearly 260m (850ft) on their DSI, Multi-Action is offering just-in-time solutions with usual lead times of just 48 hours, as well as occasional same-day deliveries. As Jonathan explains in a video interview on the press-maker’s YouTube channel, this is helping customers in the food & beverage, homecare, pharmaceutical and industrial markets make major savings by reducing stockholding levels.

In addition to CMYK, the DSI at Multi-Action has been customised with options including orange and violet, to cover over 90 percent of the colour gamut, opaque white, and a digital primer. Intermediate LED pinning and a chill drum, standard on all DSI presses, ensure crisp quality on film and paper substrates at speeds of up to 35m/min (114fpm). Inline converting options specified included a flexo coating station and semi-rotary diecutting technology supplied by AB Graphic.  The press uses SPGPrints’ proprietary inks that offer BWS-7 lightfastness, strong scratch and chemical resistance and high levels of brilliance.

Furthermore, the DSI has given Multi-Action serialised printing capabilities that help customers improve supply chain efficiency and safety. In one example, Multi-Action supplied one million unique barcodes to a department of the Quebec government, allowing warehouse staff to find and trace products easily through the logistics chain.

Multi-Action is also offering a DSI-printed sample service, helping brand-owner marketing teams to speed up the prototyping stage.  Derek Gobeil, director of marketing, explains: “Whereas flexo prototyping was done with Photoshop and mock-ups, now we can do the actual run on the press, in minutes, with the exact inks, adhesive and facestock. And if any last-minute changes are needed, it’s all numerical anyway: we just go back to press. In this way, our digital workflow greatly speeds up the client’s decision-making process at R&D stage.”

Thanks to the DSI’s Esko Automation software which automates step-repeat functions, the company has a fast, simple digital workflow that fits seamlessly with the flexo operations. Prepress times for the DSI are just 15 minutes, compared with an average of 90 minutes for the flexo plates. The DSI is also able to print several jobs consecutively, effectively eliminating start-up waste. The installation has boosted the productivity of its three ETI flexo lines also, as these now focus exclusively on long runs.

Jonathan Bourbonnière adds: “The addition of the DSI to our business has more than simply improved our flexibility: we can provide services that add significant value to our customers’ operations as a result.  Thanks are also due to SPGPrints’ technical support staff, whose professionalism and passion has enabled us to adopt the digital workflow smoothly.”